Anime Blues

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I’ve got the anime blues. I haven’t written in over a month. I haven’t been able to find anything to blog about. Granted, there has been a lot on my mind that is outside of the anime realm and usually anime is able to help me during times such as these. However, lately anime has not really offered anything new for me. I tweeted how I would really like another show cut from the same cloth of Cowboy Bebop, Ghost in the Shell, Samurai Champloo, Trigun; I would even take something like Inuyasha. A show with mature characters; adults, not just high school kids doing high school things. That’s starting to bore me. These cutesy shows with the cutesy characters even when the show has serious content is annoying. I know the anime fan base eats this up and thats why the creators make shows specifically for them so they can rake in the money. I don’t blame them for this but for goodness sake, throw us a bone here! 

I like watching my anime on television so my easiest choices to watch anime is to purchase shows (which I did in large quantity at Anime Weekend Atlanta) or use Hulu, Crunchyroll, Manga channel, Netflix.  Hulu tends to have a better selection of anime to me than Crunchyroll in terms of more mature viewing. Crunchyoll has tons and tons of cutesy anime and the popular status quo shows. Maybe I need to take some time and go through everything they have to offer. I’ve been feeling this way for a while with anime but Anime Weekend Atlanta was able to spark life back in to me for a moment but that wore off. Its not that I don’t like anything right now. I am watching Kill la Kill and Beyond the Boundary. 

Kill la Kill almost got on the drop list for its ridiculous fanservice but there is something about it that has made me keep watching. The terrible animation, the over the top fight scenes, and the “ugliness” of the characters has its charm. The show is fun to watch. It hints at depth but there really isn’t much that has presented itself in the first 8 episodes. It makes me laugh and I could really use a good laugh. Beyond the Boundary; I’m not quite sure why I keep watching it when it really has been monotonous. Maybe its the hope of there actually being a story within the show. There are 13 episodes and the last few look like we might be getting somewhere. Still both of these shows are not shows I am overly excited about. I am generally watching at least 7-10 shows a season; whether all new or a combination of old and new. I would love some recommendations of anime from the early 2000s. I generally liked shows from that time period the best.  I would love to get out of this funk. 

Quick Wrap – Up

So I went a little MIA after I said I would blog more consistently. The last few weeks, I have had a hard time finding the motivation to blog. Its not that I haven’t been watching anime; I have. It just seems that after Anime Weekend Atlanta and seeing all the awesome-ness of anime in one spot, I felt sort of empty. Convention withdrawal of some sort. However, I have been thinking about a lot of things between that time. The ending of Shingeki no Kyojin for one. There must be more coming out. There has to be.

It disappointed me. There. I admitted it. If this was truly the last episode, then it was one giant infomercial for the manga. Because we learned nothing of substance. We watched Eren continue to waffle back and forth, whine, cry, the stereotypical male anime character; normally weak but has this one trick that makes him amazing. What saved this show was the great fight scenes and the animation style because the story grew quite stale. I get it; I need to read the manga if I want to know what’s in Eren’s father’s basement. I need to read the manga to find out more about Annie who I really don’t believe is a “bad” guy.  Her story has got to be good. It was befitting that she encased herself in “ice” as she was definitely an ice queen. We got a few flashes of her life that just whet my appetite for more of her story. She definitely outranked Mikasa in the latter episodes in terms of “bad-ass female character”.  For those who haven’t seen the show yet (pretty far and few between from what I gather), I won’t add more because I don’t want to spoil anything. I avoided reading blogs about the show because I didn’t want it to taint my final thoughts. And my final thoughts…not impressed. Uchouten Kazoku (The Eccentric Family) ended much better.

Cold as ice

Speaking of Uchouten Kazoku, I enjoyed this show and it had a satisfactory ending that left me feeling complete. Uchouten Kazoku was definitely about an eccentric family. A family of tanuki (raccoon dogs) who spend most of their time in the guise of humans try to enjoy their lives after the death of the patriarch of the family and leader of the tanuki. Their various of coping were definitely entertaining, the eldest brother became even more of a stick in the mud, the next to oldest turned himself into a frog and wouldn’t revert back, the next to youngest lived wild and free, and the baby acted just that. The method of their father’s death was most unfortunate and also a source of constant nightmare to all tanuki; being cooked and eaten by a group of humans called the Friday Fellows. Fast-paced show, likable characters, lots of drunken fun. Mostly every character got a story and you got to see the connections between them all. I love when I get a fleshed out story without being rushed. I would probably watch this one again.

I also completed Silver Spoon. This was one of the best of the season. It is a great slice of life. Definitely not for those who are more action-oriented. The only action you’re going to see here is the slaying of pigs, deer, and cooking pizza. I would really like a good slice of pizza right now and some hot chocolate. A good coming of age story; finding yourself when you have no goal at all. Its a reminder that just because you don’t have a plan, doesn’t mean that you can’t end up with one or there will be no fulfillment in life.  So I said this would be a quick wrap-up, so there it is. I do need to be more consistent with my blogging or I end up wanting to ramble about everything.

What I’m Watching Now

Kill la Kill – (shocker!) – This is chock full of fan-service but so far I have been amused greatly. I laugh hysterically each episode. I saw a long Tumblr post about how the fanservice of this show is really female empowerment. Interesting perspective.

Beyond the Boundary – So far not bad. Half-demon/half-human strangely attracted to a spirit world warrior who apparently can calm him in his demon state (Inuyasha, anyone?). She’s got poison blood, he’s half-demon/half-human; both are feared. Perfect recipe for a strong relationship, don’t you think? Things have gotten real interesting in the last episode.

Arpeggio of Blue Steel – Cute girls as war machines. One war machine will only listen to a particular human guy. Another war machine wants him too. See where this is going?

That’s it for now. Happy anime watching!

A Conventional Thing to Do (Anime Weekend Atlanta 2013)

This weekend, I enjoyed the three day fun fest called Anime Weekend Atlanta.  I spent massive amounts of time surrounded by noting but otakus and furries. I have yet to figure out what the furries were doing there. And lets not forget the steampunkers who are popping up everywhere. So what does one do at a con?  Well, there are three things you must do. You must eat, bathe, and sleep. One thing about cons is that many people tend not to bathe and that can lead to a terrible funk. People also tend not to sleep so they end up passing out in hallways, corridors and game rooms.

i'm just going to lay right hereTogether

My photos of the con are not professional, all were taken on my cell as I left my camera at home. This is a con through the eyes of a regular person without a fancy camera and editing skills.

The guy sleeping on the left had to be exhausted because he was lying right next to the Dance Dance Revolution game where an active session was going on with blaring music. He was completely out of it. So you’ve got your people passed out in various states of repose and then you have DaExterminateleks chasing you. I was actually terrified as the Dalek was moving quite quickly I might add towards me stating “Exterminate! Exterminate!” I backed away at a rapid pace, I assure you. By the way, the cosplayer in the Dalek costume won an award in the costume contest. It was actually a well done costume though its not anime.

Speaking of anime, there were tons of Shinjeki no Kyojin (Attack on Titan) cosplayers. It was apparent that this is a popular show. It was so many, I only felt the need to take a picture of one because it literally looked like they all purchased their costume from the same website.  I liked this guy because of the nose piercing. He gave the costume more of an edgy look plus he had a great head of hair and an awesome little beard. I'm Awesome

The beauty of Anime Weekend Atlanta is the demographics. There was such variety in terms of age, gender, ethnicity, physical ability; you name it. Its family oriented so there are a number of families. I’m just going to leave some shots here for you all. Have you ever been to an anime con before? What did you like? What didn’t you like? Click on the pictures for a closer look. The last two were not taken by me but they are of my friend from work. Enjoy!Hi guys!I'm ready for my closeup1024x768_bestfit_13 1024x768_bestfit_14 256x256_fit_one_bestfit_13 1024x768_bestfit_17 256x256_fit_one_bestfit_14 256x256_fit_one_bestfit_15 1024x768_bestfit_20 1024x768_bestfit_28 256x256_fit_one_bestfit_23 1024x768_bestfit_4 256x256_fit_one_bestfit_30 256x256_fit_one_bestfit 1024x768_bestfit_45

Princess Mononoke et al 1024x768_bestfit_31 1024x768_bestfit_35 1024x768_bestfit_39

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I Am Not an Otaku

otakufemaleI love anime. I tend to watch it daily some weeks. I will marathon it, create wallpapers, read aniblogs, lurk on anime forums, purchase DVDs, figurines, and talk about it to anyone who listens. But I am not an otaku. Depending on where you look, otaku is a derogatory term, meant to insult those with an obsessive interest in anime.  An otaku cannot possibly have a significant other; because where would they find the time? Admittedly, my interest in anime has freaked a couple of guys out.  One even asked me why couldn’t a just be a “normal” person. Another told me it was “creepy”.  Keep in mind, I don’t watch hentai; these individuals watched porn a lot but I didn’t call them creepy pervs which they were. However, it is a false assumption to presume that otakus don’t have significant others.

Another  image that comes to people’s minds when they think of an otaku, is an overweight,pale, disheveled, glasses wearing male. Granted, I’m sure many otaku look this way but there are many others who do not. Some people do fit the stereotypes as these two males who work at a non-anime store that I frequent. I pegged them at first glance as anime geeks.  One had on a Naruto wristband and the other had on a mini-drill necklace from Gurren Lagann. They were neither pale or overweight; quite the opposite actually. They were also extremely awkward and made terrible jokes.  And upon further conversation, they played card games. They didn’t pick up that I was a serious anime watcher until I noted they were and it surprised them. Because I don’t match the stereotype.

Seeing as I am a serious anime fan, I view otaku as a term of endearment for those who take their love of anime to the next level. Those whose lives revolve around anime and will save money to spend it on anime and anime related goods. Is that weird? Its no different than someone who buys all the paraphernalia to their favorite television drama. Granted, there are some weird otaku but that’s humanity in general. There are always your outliers.

I do have other interests outside of anime; I’m a reader.  I don’t read much manga because its expensive to buy and my local library doesn’t stock up on it. The manga I own has come from second hand bookstores.  I also own a few figurines; with two on my desk at work.  They are of Gintoki, one of my favorite characters next to Vash. Would I have more figurines if I could afford it? Absolutely. Would I own more of my favorite series? Absolutely. However, I’d rather not go broke because of a hobby.   But a girl can still dream.

Do you consider yourself an otaku? Do you think it is an insult or a term of endearment?

Not Your Kid’s Show

Honor and a Penis

Honor and a Penis! Shin Chan. Definitely not your little children’s show. One of the few anime I thank Adult Swim for introducing me to.  Shin Chan is a show that I can watch more than once and I can’t say that about many shows. It makes me laugh every time I’ve watch it.  Shin Chan is completely inappropriate and I would compare it to Family Guy in terms of the type of humor except its better and less offensive.  It is a show that is not on Crunchyroll but is on Hulu Plus. Shin Chan is a kindergartener with  a gutter mouth and very little respect for adult figures except when he wants something. Shin Chan is hilariously disrespectful and is willing to go tho extremes to get what he wants; that includes going on strike. The anime was birthed from a manga (how many shows didn’t come from manga?) and is still running; just not on Adult Swim. It is potty humor at its finest and its more hilarious because it is a small child spouting it out. Shin Chan was the first anime that I saw that made no qualms about showing a penis. I’m pretty confident to say that I was most likely taken aback because generally one doesn’t see a penis in a non-sexualized setting in an anime. That was my experience until Shin Chan. For Shin, to be a man,”You must have honor and a peeenis!”

Do I have a gutter sense of humor? Probably. However, I think the show was the most amusing for me because of Shin. It would not have been as funny if all the characters were adults. The funniest characters were the children who made adult statements that were completely out of line. The show didn’t just deal in potty humor. It explored family dynamics and relationships, work life (having to kowtow to your boss), housing, and financial issues. In a sense, it was very real and down to earth.  Shin Chan can be viewed on Hulu with limited commercial interruption, the only option is dubbed on Hulu but the dub is pretty good. The animation looks like it could have been drawn by a child but that makes it all the more endearing. And remember Shin can so wipe his own ass!

I watched and sang this theme song every single time.

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